GOP Legislation Would Put Trump’s Face On $500 Bills
Former U.S. President Donald Trump attends his criminal trial at Manhattan Criminal Court on May 29, 2024 in New York City. Judge Juan Merchan will give the jury their instructions before they begin their deliberations today.
(Photo by Doug Mills-Pool/Getty Images)

A portrait of former President Donald Trump would appear on $500 bills if new legislation from a House Republican gets enacted into law.

On Wednesday, Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) announced the Treasury Reserve Unveiling Memorable Portrait (TRUMP) Act, which would require the Treasury secretary to print $500 Federal Reserve notes with Trump’s face. The proposal “offers several practical advantages” at a time when “Bidenflation continues to devalue our currency,” Gosar said in a statement, taking a swipe at President Joe Biden.

“First, larger-value currency will empower Americans with the freedom of more tangible options to save and exchange goods and services,” Gosar continued. “Additionally, the absence of large-denomination currency issued by the Treasury encourages Americans to rely on digital banking, which faces greater vulnerability to surveillance and censorship.”

The federal government does not currently make available U.S. currency denominations above $100. Larger denominations, including $500 bills, were last printed in 1945 and issued until 1969, according to the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. Past $500 notes featured John Marshall, a Founding Father who served as a House representative, secretary of state, and chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. Another couple of series had the portrait of William McKinley, the 25th president of the United States. The largest-ever note printed by the bureau was the $100,000 Gold Certificate.


Gosar argued that $500 Trump bills would become “highly sought after” by collectors, “generating revenue for the government through increased demand for numismatic items.” He added, “Collectors often covet currency with unique designs and historical significance and bills featuring the very popular 45th President will attract considerable attention from collectors.”

The legislation faces long odds. Republicans lead the House and are largely aligned with Trump as he seeks another term, but the Senate and the White House are controlled by Democrats. Still, Gosar made the case that his proposal could become a source of federal income at a time when the national debt is approaching $35 trillion with no signs of slowing down.

“This will no doubt create a market for the $500 Trump bills far beyond their face value and increase the seigniorage earnings of the government, thus increasing overall revenues,” Gosar concluded.

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